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When Christians become a 'hated minority'
Evangelical Christians say they are the new victims of intolerance - they're persecuted for condemning homosexuality.
May 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When Christians become a 'hated minority'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.

As proof, Sprigg points to the backlash that ESPN commentator Chris Broussard sparked recently. Broussard was called a bigot and a purveyor of hate speech when he said an NBA player who had come out as gay was living in “open rebellion to God.” Broussard said the player, Jason Collins, was “living in unrepentant sin” because the Bible condemns homosexuality.

“In the current culture, it takes more courage for someone like Chris Broussard to speak out than for someone like Jason Collins to come out,” says Sprigg, a former pastor. “The media will hail someone who comes out of the closet as gay, but someone who simply expresses their personal religious views about homosexual conduct is attacked.”

When is disagreement hate?

Bryan Litfin, a theology professor at Moody Bible Institute in Illinois, says Christians should be able to publicly say that God designed sex to take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.

“That isn’t so outrageous,” Litfin says. “Nobody is expressing hate toward homosexuals by saying that. Since when is disagreement the same as hate?”

But quoting the Bible doesn't inoculate anyone from becoming a bigot or hater, some scholars say. There's a point at which a Christian's opposition to homosexuality can become bigotry, and even hate speech, they say.

Crossing such a line has happened many times in history.

A literal reading of the Bible was used to justify all sorts of hatred: slavery, the subjugation of women and anti-Semitism, scholars and pastors say.

“Truly damaging speech cannot be excused just because it expresses genuine religious belief,” says Mark D. Jordan, author of “Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality.”

“Some religious beliefs, sincerely held, are detestable. They cannot be spoken without disrupting social peace,” says Jordan, a professor at the John Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it designated the Family Research Council, the group that Sprigg represents, as a hate group - a characterization the group stridently rejects.

Mark Potok,  a center spokesman, says there’s no shared definition of what constitutes hate speech.

“There is no legal meaning. It’s just a phrase,” Potok says. “Hate speech is in the ear of the beholder.”

'One of the most hated minorities?'

Intolerance may be difficult to define, but some evangelicals say they have become victims of intolerance because of their reverence for the Bible.

The conservative media culture is filled with stories about evangelicals being labeled as “extremists” for their belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Their sense of persecution goes beyond their stance on homosexuality. There are stories circulating of evangelical students being suspended for opposing homosexuality, a teacher fired for giving a Bible to a curious student, and the rise of anti-Christian bigotry.

A blogger at The American Dream asked in one essay:

“Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America?”

The reluctance of evangelicals to speak out against homosexuality is often cited as proof they are being forced into the closet.

Joe Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?" He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that homosexuality is a sin for fear of being called haters.

“Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how homosexual conduct destroys lives,” Carter wrote.

Some Christians fear that opposing homosexuality could cause them to lose their jobs and “haunt them forever,” Carter says.

“It’s easier to just go along,” says Carter, who is also author of “How to Argue Like Jesus.” “You don’t want to be lumped in with the bigots. That’s a powerful word."

Edward Johnson, a communication professor at Campbell University in North Carolina, says we are now living in a "postmodern" era where everything is relative and there is no universally accepted truth. It's an environment in which anyone who says "this is right" and "that is wrong" is labeled intolerant, he says.

There was a time when a person could publicly say homosexuality was wrong and people could consider the statement without anger, he says. Today, people have reverted to an intellectual tribalism where they are only willing to consider the perspective of their own tribe.

“They are incapable of comprehending that someone may have a view different than theirs,” Johnson says. “For them anyone who dares to question the dogma of the tribe can only be doing so out of hatred.”

Sprigg, from the Family Research Council, says his condemnation of homosexual conduct does not spring from intolerance but a desire to protect gays from harmful conduct, he says.

Sprigg, a senior fellow for policy studies at the council, wrote in a council pamphlet that homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are straight men. He also wrote that gay men are also afflicted with a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness as well.

Sprigg says he does not believe homosexuality is a choice and that “personal testimonies" and "clinical experience” show that some people “can and do change from gay to straight.”

“Maybe we need to do a better job of showing that we are motivated by Christian love,” Sprigg says. “Love is wanting the best for someone, and acting to bring that about.”

'That's a lie'

Potok, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, has little use for the love Sprigg talks about.

He calls it hatred, and his voice rose in anger when he talked about the claims by Sprigg and other Christian groups that gay men are more predisposed to molest children and that homosexual behavior is inherently harmful.

He says the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t designate the Family Research Group a hate group because they view homosexuality as a sin or oppose same-sex marriage, Potok says. There are plenty of Christian groups who hold those beliefs but are not hate groups, he says.

A group becomes a hate group when it attacks and maligns an entire class of people for their “immutable characteristics,” Potok says. The Family Research Council spreads known falsehoods about gays and lesbians, he says, such as the contention that gay men are predisposed to abuse children.

“That’s a lie,” Potok says. “These guys are engaging in straight-up defamation of a very large group of people. There are not many things much worse than you can say in America about somebody than they are a child molester.”

Potok scoffed at Spriggs’ claim that the council and other evangelical anti-gay groups are victims of intolerance.

“That’s whining on the part of people who spend their days and nights attacking gay people and then some people criticize them and they don’t like it,” he says. “That’s pathetic. It reminds me of slave owners complaining that people are saying ugly things about them.”

What the Bible says

What about the popular evangelical claim, “We don’t hate the sinner, just the sin” – is that seen as intolerance or hate speech when it comes to homosexuality?

There are those who say you can’t hate the sin and love the sinner because being gay or lesbian is defined by one’s sexual behavior; it’s who someone is.

“Most people who identify as gay and lesbian would say that this is not an action I’m choosing to do; this is who I am,” says Timothy Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book.”

Beal, a religion professor at Case Western University in Ohio, says it should be difficult for any Christian to unequivocally declare that the Bible opposes homosexuality because the Bible doesn’t take a single position on the topic. It's an assertion that many scholars and mainline Protestant pastors would agree with.

Some people cite Old Testament scriptures as condemning homosexuality, such as  Leviticus 18:22 - “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” But other Christians counter by saying they are not bound by the Old Testament.

There are those who also cite New Testament scriptures like Romans 1:26-27 - “… Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men. …”

Beal, however, says Jesus said little about sex. And the Apostle Paul, who wrote Romans, was probably referring to male prostitution and men having sexual relations with boys, a practice in the Greco-Roman world.

“Paul does not understand genetics and sexual orientation the way we understand it now as something much more than a choice,” says Beal.

Some evangelicals say Christians can’t change their view of biblical truth just because times change. But some scholars reply:

Sure you can. Christians do it all the time.

Denying a woman’s ability to preach in church was justified by scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:11-12 - “… I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” But many churches have abandoned that teaching - and some scholars say a woman preached the first Christian sermon, when Mary Magdalene proclaimed that Jesus had risen.

Slaveholders in 19th century America justified slavery through a literal reading of the Bible, quoting Titus 2:9-10 – “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything. …” And anti-Semitism was justified by the claims that Jews killed Jesus, such as Matthew 27: 25-26 - “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

Litfin, from Moody Bible Institute, acknowledged that the Bible once sanctioned slavery, but he said that practice was a “cultural expression” that changed over time. Evangelicals who oppose same-sex marriage by citing the Bible are on more solid ground, he says.

“Marriage is a universal and timeless institution that God set up for maximum human flourishing. He set it up in the first book of the Bible with the story of Adam and Eve. It is consistent throughout the whole Bible. … Marriage is in a different category than those cultural things.”

Public jousts over the Bible's stance on homosexuality rarely change people’s minds. What changes is when people get to know gay and lesbian people as friends and hear their story, says Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible.”

“If you open up to that other person genuinely, you basically come to a point where you have to sacrifice them to your ideology or crack open your ideology to make a hospitable place for them,” Beal says.

One Christian pastor who is gay says the uproar over the ESPN commentator’s comments can actually be good,  because debates help settle moral disputes.

“What appears to us as antiquated and prejudicial now was once a disputed issue that required debate,” says the Rev. Richard McCarty, a minister in the United Church of Christ and a religious studies professor at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania.

Until the debate over homosexuality is settled - if it ever is - there may be plenty of evangelical Christians who feel as if they are now being forced to stay in the closet.

Carter, the evangelical blogger, says he foresees a day when any church that preaches against homosexuality will be marginalized. Just as many churches now accept divorce, they will accept sexual practices once considered sinful.

“It’s getting to the point,” he says, “where churches are not going to say that any sexual activity is wrong.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Culture wars • Protest • Sex • Sexuality • Sports

soundoff (10,982 Responses)
  1. Lizzy10

    How interesting that a group of "Christians" feel like they need to hide in the closet for their beliefs. How's that working for you?

    May 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Turboguy60

      These people don't care. For them being intolerant is ok because god said so. There is no reasoning with people this ignorant.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  2. Turboguy60

    This is ridiculous. This is like people who were opposed to the civil rights movement in the 60s complaining that it's not fair that they aren't allowed to call black people N*****S anymore and make them drink from different water fountains.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Chill out with some chick in

      May 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yep. Yet they wonder why more and more people are abandoning organized religion.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Austin

      tallulah, the only thing people want is to be aligned with God's truth, and not the reputation that men have pulled into "religion" referring to the Christian church.

      my church doubled in size and 667 people put their faith in Christ for the first time. this is a major victory and testimony of the ministry that the Holy Spirit propels.

      Your comment is made in ignorance of the fact that Jesus Christ is God, and is resurrected. THEREFORE HIS HOLY SPIRIT BEARS THE TRUTH OF HIS PRESENCE.

      i for one have experienced the supernatural ways of God.
      How many times are you going to reject someones honest testimony about what God has done? How badly do you want to suffer spiritual death?

      John 15:26-27
      New International Version (NIV)
      The Work of the Holy Spirit

      26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Yeah well guess what Austin, I too experienced a revelation. Born and raised a Southern Baptist, and started attending a nondenominational christian church in my late teens. Became "Born Again" or rather...I tried. Admitted my sins, asked for forgiveness, asked jesus to come into my heart, was baptized, prayed, studied the bible, sang, and couldn't help wondering what was wrong with me, why all my friends would sit there with their arms raised to god, why I could not feel what they were feeling. Was I broken? Did God hate me for some reason? Why did I feel so silly and as though it was all BS?

      Finally I experienced the revelation that the reason I felt that way is because it WAS all bs, and religion/christianity/the Bible is nothing more than a brainwashing tool, and for whatever reason I was not able to be fully brainwashed into the cult. There are many like me, don't assume we have just "not heard" or "not understood".

      On an interesting side note, I can't be hypnotized either. Wonder if the same part of the brain governs both religious indoctrination and hypnosis?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Is that why they were so keen to have you join – anything to not have 666 members of the congregation?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Interesting thought Amok cow guy.
      I also cannot be hypnotized nor mesmerised, and I knew I was an atheist at 6. I have studied and researched, but kept coming back to one conclusion about all religions. They are man made and get no one any closer to figuring out the things we haven't figured out yet.
      I do not believe there are any gods. But there are energies we haven't figured out yet, plus we seem to be missing about 2/3 of the mass in the universe, or at least we are missing what is causing a mass like effect equivelent to twice all the known mass.

      It is possible that there are gods, but just as likely as any of the infinite other possibilities.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  3. Science Assistant - Weekend Update

    Psychology

    The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how sexual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

    Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice."

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

    "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice."

    Biology

    The following is from the article:

    Homosexuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

    [ The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality runs in families.

    Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

    These genetic regulators may be the reason homosexuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

    "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of sexual preference — homo- or bisexuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of sexual preference refer to sexual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

    The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

    Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

    Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

    These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

    Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the sexes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

    But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

    That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

    "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

    Biological behavior

    Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite sex — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his sexual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her sexual preference, making her more interested in women.

    These findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

    The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

    "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not "unnatural."

    "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get sexually excited by other rams. ]

    May 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      mama cow is that you beating?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  4. rob

    All bigots should be shunned by society. And the religious fanatics are getting crazier by the day. They're dangerous vermin that need to be eliminated by society. If anyone is violating the law of God, it's bigots. They're the ones that shouldn't be allowed to marry.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • F. Leghorn

      It's perfectly reasonable to hate all bigots, they're evil.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Correction...the law of god according to men. I still haven't seen anything that was written by any of the thousands of gods.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  5. Oldprof

    Keep your Bible out of other people's bedrooms. The problem with any religious teaching that intrudes into bedrooms, is that it is no longer religion, but rather attempted life control.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Austin

      keep your ho.mose.xual agenda in your bedroom. if you get a tax break for being gay, then any room mates should get a tax break. this stupid. the only reason for the marriage tax break is for the benefit of children. there is no other purpose. all adults with jobs pay taxes . they dont need a break for having a room mate. do college room mates get a tax credit.

      how stupid.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Life control, or rather giving up some of your control, is exactly what religion is for.
      It is absolutely unnecessary though. We get along fine without gods.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Austin- then why do unmarried straight couples get tax benefits?

      You do realize many gay couples ARE raising children, and have been for many years? There are many grown children who were raised by gay parents. It isn't going away, why deprive children of gay relationships from the benefits that come with the tax breaks?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Austin
      You summed up your statement with your last two words.

      And if those college roommates are married, yes they get the credit. By the way, the government has absolutley no requirement for any married person to have children in order to get the benefits of marriage.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Austin, why would your supernatural encounters with a supreme being never result in your getting any intelligence? Ignorance and stupidity like yours are what are truly sins. Clueless fvcking git.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • G to the T

      Austin – there's a difference between getting a tax break for being married and EIC for children. How about we remove all tax breaks based on marital status? Would that be OK with you then? No cheeky monkey's "cheating the system" (like no straight people have ever gotten married for reason other than love – anyone seen Greencard?)?

      May 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  6. mark

    If you spout irrational, delusional things, expect to be treated a bit differently from us normal people.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Now auditioning for ' bull gone wild,

      May 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • F. Leghorn

      I say... what is a Mok and why would you need a cow to run one?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Dippy

      Cows are just very good at operating moks. They have a natural talent for it, and the moks respond well to their cow masters.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  7. MaryM

    Christians or any religion. When you use your religion or you God to Spew your hatred towards people you disagree with, then you will Get Back exactly what you Spew

    May 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Hell hath no fury as a mad cow gone wild

      May 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      It is not a matter of religion, but human civility, one out side human civility may look like a human, but does not deserve to be treated in civil, human manors. hind love ism, guy ism is nothing else but way of primates, and they do not deserve to be treated like human being.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      @when cows run amok

      I seriously hope you get bored soon or I'll be forced to change my own handle. And I'm kind of fond of it, been using it for years.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      It is not matter of religion but human civility, any thing out side norm of humanity is condemnable, such as hind love ism, hindu gay ism,

      May 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • STFU

      @ISLAM
      Ya "guy ism is nothing else but way of primates, and they do not deserve to be treated like human being", I think we should include girl ism too Mohammad !!!!

      May 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  8. STFU

    people who turn gays or lasbians not necessairly are "Evangelical Christians", so why the F these people think they have rights to show their disagreements? They should be garding their own house.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  9. onelis1978

    You never hear this coming from Orthodox or Catholic Christians, so I ask, who is really following the Bible here? The Evangelicals who constantly point out who we should hate or the Orthodox and Catholics who remind us that we have all fallen short of the glory of God and that no one can be perfect?

    May 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Catholic?

      You mean that same catholic church that has caused millions of people in Africa to die a horrible death from AIDs because of their stance on condoms?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  10. ROCKWOOD

    I always find it amusing when people quote Leviticus and have pork on their breath from their morning breakfast.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I find it funny that some people make life decisions based on some guy named leviticus.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Cows smell good

      May 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Sorry amok cow dude.
      Cows only smell good when placed over an open flame.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Al Russell

      Yes, and also those who are wearing cotton with polyester blend. What a huge no-no. They also better not have shaved that morning, or any morning for that matter. Apparently though, these particular folks are qualified to determine which of God's proclamations can be discarded and which should be vigilantly upheld.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • lol??

      "Act 10:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat."

      May 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • G to the T

      Silly LOL? – listening to the words of Paul's disciples and not Jesus. tsk tsk

      May 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Thinker

      Leviticus just means "of the Levites" which were the tribe from which the priest class was chosen. Since the priests were the law givers in their theocracy this was a book of laws and traditions based on the Hebrew God's commands as deciphered or decided upon by Moses. What is interesting is how much that God changes when Christ supposedly arrives and completely changes the narrative of the bible from one of a dominant violent jealous God named Yhwh to an inclusive pacifist who turns the other cheek when given offense.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  11. yalesouth

    cm humans can act civilized by using common sense and our collective sense of fairness and decency without religion. FYI this is not a theocracy.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • lol??

      "...............collective sense.........."

      The Monroe Doctrine failed to stop this virus. Firewall ALERT!!

      May 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  12. ThomasPrydeIV

    Is there anyone else on this site that thinks maybe the author of this article is just cherry picking quotes from random people that agree with him? Perhaps someone out there concluded that this article fails in every way to objectively investigate the topic? And could it really be that there is a trend in including bovines in people's screen names?

    May 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You could learn a lot from our bovine overlo...I mean friends..
      To err is human, to forgive, bovine.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Grazing and lost, huh?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeV

      After careful and objective review, I agree wholeheartedly.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeIV

      I'm ruminating the fact that there is supposedly a fifth Thomas Pryde....are you a long lost cousin? A buffalo, perhaps?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeIV

      I would have chewed the cud and followed the trend myself, but my email is already on a WordPress account. Alas, I can't be one of the herd :'(

      May 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      It wouldn't be a buffalo....maybe a bison, but I thought a group of lions was a pryde.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      @ThomasPryde

      I am not of the same *herd* as that wackadoodle. I've been here, albeit sporadically, for years. That's just some bored kid posting nonsense.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • lol??

      Jesus is doin' a lot of cherry picking.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeV

      pappy, don't you remember me or is you not my reel pa?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeIV

      I see. Well, for what it's worth, anyone that uses the word "wackadoodle" gets extra points in my book. As to you "lol??", I'm going to temporarily humor you by condemning every single comment I've seen from you as rude and unintelligent drivel, not because you apparently disagree with me, but because you seem to desire to anger people for your own amusement. Me and my bovine friends can discuss this without rudeness and trolling, and I am here on out ignoring your comments

      May 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeIV

      Tommy? Is it really you? I thought I lost you forever in that incident at the sewage plant years ago! How did you survive?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • ThomasPrydeIV

      I hope you've taken a bath since then, sonny

      May 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Hey – don't ignore the canines!

      BTW – I prefer the natural smell of a cow or a dog to that of a human. People smell nasty!

      May 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  13. Imjesayin

    Wah. I'm a Christian. Wah. Life is so tough in a country founded on Christianity. Give me a break. BTW, I am Catholic. Stop your whining!

    May 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Where is the Mormon cow?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • fsmgroupie

      catholics are not true Christians . they are the anti-Christ . all good protestants know this fact.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • lol??

      groupie child,

      "1Jo 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."

      May 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  14. Liutgard

    Sorry, 'Christianity' is still the prevailing culture in the US. And when you're the bif guy on the block, you don't get the whine and claim you're being discriminated against. https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/946693_10200950283019975_1329287805_n.jpg

    May 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • lol??

      You blaming this mess on the Creator?? Get bent.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Dude, if you believe in a creator who else are you going to blame?

      May 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  15. Aida Payton

    I don't know some other religions hate others. The whole truth is only one God it just different religions We are all worshiping the same God. in Different names. But some other using God names for them self interest. Not for God's I need to explained this to all People. that shouldn't critics other religions as long as they don't teach in Bible how to killed because God do not order to killed. we worship the same God in different name's. Because we speak different languages. People need to read the Journey of the Innocent light bearer of the world Books so they can understand the true word of God. rather than hating each other. Don't make sense to me. How can we not understand that all religions start from Abraham. we all should enjoy our life right now. Rather than Killing each other..

    May 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Not all religions do start from Abraham, just Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Dippy

      Aida. You need to work on your writing skills...especially punctuation and capitalization. Your post is barely readable.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Worship the al al almighty cow!

      May 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Aida- you're wrong, many of us do not worship a god at all.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • lol??

      Religions come from Cain and friends.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, only the Abrahamic religions stem from Abraham. There are thousands of other beliefs and gods that are completely unrelated. And there isn't a single shred of proof for ANY god, even the one you believe in, Aida.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  16. biobraine

    The christian religion was invented during a time period that had different moral standards, for example slavery. The problem with religion is that it can not evolve along with the moral code of civilizations because changes to the holy books are simply not allowed. People today have the ability to research and think freely. What made sense to past civilizations, for example, if you do not believe and obey you will suffer for eternity, is outright laughable compared to our values of right and wrong in the present day. 1 out of 3 young people no longer consider themselves religious. This trend will only accelerate as religion becomes less and less relivent as a guidbook for living your life.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • lol??

      In what god's name do you prophesy??

      May 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's a "god" you are unfamiliar with, lol. It's called reality.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  17. JgAtl

    I am so sick of Christians complaining when they experience one iota of opposition or backlash for their beliefs. Absolutely no where in the bible does it say being a Christian means you are safeguarded from rebuttal. Your lord died on the cross for you, and you can't take a little heat for what you say you believe in? How about a little religious conviction!! Christians have been persecuted in the past, and I can assure you that this is NOTHING in comparison. If these religious zealots where to just abandon this ridiculous "intolerance of my intolerance" argument and learn to mind their own business, this problem would go away for both sides.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Saraswati

      It does seem to be a favorite little whine of some religious groups that want to tell us all "Your moral code requires you tolerate my intollerance". They're ignorant enough to think this is some sort of smart statement rather than yet another glowing example of how little they understand the beliefs of anyone outside their own group. It's pretty hard to cure willful ignorance, unfortunately.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • When cows run amok

      Yeah, You are growing into your horns

      May 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • lol??

      "..............one iota....................." OH OOOooohhh, another vegetable gubmint program has been seeded.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  18. Errday

    Time for cheeseburgers! Time to shoot those damn talking cows and rip their guts out. With cheese.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  19. lionlylamb

    Atheists are in practice, an ungodly lot of emotionalized beings with no perceptions beyond their heart-felt aims. They think rather than dream and dare speak over rather than with another's perceived ideologies. Alas, there are as well Christians who dare the same thing to do.

    God will be God and does not need our religious theosophies to be God, the Father of Creations For Manifestations Allness. God was God before our theory of the Big Bang became a rationalization! God was God long before evolution even was a suggestion. God created the first atomically constructed cell of living matter in which God established God's residency living deeply within the atomically structured living cell of scaled order.

    Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

    1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Errday

      You are clearly someone for whom sudden death is virtually certain to be a timely and welcomed event by your neighbors.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Engineer in Raleigh

      I really wish people like you had the courage of your convictions and eschewed modern medicine. Don't believe in evolution? Fine. No flu shot for you. Contract MRSA? Sorry – evil spirits. Pray it away.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Errday is in need of mental help.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Errrrrrrr,

      Your wishful thoughts might be realized should you dare it to be found out. For as a child does lecture so will he do never knowing said differentiation of wanting or even doing.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Flu shots? I haven't had one since I was a child of 12. Now 58, I have done just fine without one!

      May 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Well Lionlylamb. The good news is that the old people like you are a dying breed. The youths will bring religion from freedom to the masses. Its time we start looking to the future and free ourselves from the past.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Errday

      And take Dam of Log with you. I mean Lap Dog. Scam of Blog. Whatever. He's really stupid. I'm sure his head is pocket-sized.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Your still here. You stopped using foul language though. Thats good of you.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Dippy

      Lamb, it's "you're."

      May 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Errday

      Fuck you, dipwad. I couldn't care less what the fuck you think about my vocabulary. I have no doubt that it's much better than yours. I could teach you, but I'd have to charge. Die in a fire already.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Athy

      Errday seems a bit touchy.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Thanks dippy. I noticed that when I hit Post. But it wasnt worth posting again.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Errdumb. Youre big and tough online. I can imagine what youre like in person.

      May 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Bugs 1 6:9 Mmmmnnnn Ahhhhhh.......What's up, doc?

      May 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  20. Engineer in Raleigh

    It's not that hard to stay out of other people's business, but if you can't. the least you can do is stop whining when they get mad about it... It's not just about gays, either. Remember Terri Shaivo? Fundies will get in anyone's business, for any reason at all. They just don't want to face any personal consequences when they do.

    May 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • biggles

      Even hid jews from the Nazis in wwll. Terrible busy bodies. The nerve! Who did they think they were, Christians?

      May 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.